Breaking News Editor

News Charlotte, NC


The Charlotte Observer’s news editor leads our breaking news and public safety coverage. 

This editor will work closely with the deputy managing editor and others to lead our journalists in selecting, pursuing and writing stories that will inform, entertain and ignite the interest of readers in the Charlotte area and beyond. Day-to-day duties will include assisting with assignments, scheduling, story budgeting, editing and ensuring that our work reaches the widest audience possible. This editor will also have important responsibilities like producing a daily audio news briefing (training provided), assisting with homepage management and production needs, and communicating with the Observer’s in-market TV partner to share and promote content.

This is a position for a well-rounded journalist with news reporting experience as well as a strong background in editing. This editor should be a skilled coach who can help reporters build sources, come up with story ideas and elevate their overall coverage. 

Duties and responsibilities: 

  • Edit breaking news as well as daily and enterprise stories for all platforms.

  • Assist reporters in developing beats and story ideas exclusive to the Observer.

  • Work with reporters and editors to bring those ideas to publication in a timely manner.

  • Coach reporters to achieve high-quality journalism and strong audience results.

  • Work with visuals team to ensure video and photos are included with most stories.

  • Use strong editing and writing skills and excellent news judgment to help shape our journalism and get it in front of digital readers.

  • Use appropriate social media platforms to distribute and highlight work

  • Work across McClatchy newsrooms and departments on shared content and projects

  • Skillfully use content management systems

Education and knowledge:

  • College degree required.
  • Minimum of two years’ experience editing and leading reporters in a daily newsroom.
  • Extensive background in journalism, video and online media preferred. 


  • Excellent story-editing and story-development skills.

  • Strong news judgment. Models journalistic values of accuracy, fairness, balance and objectivity.

  • A sense of urgency and a calm demeanor.

  • Exceptionally fast and impeccably accurate.

  • Excellent copy-editing skills.

  • Strict ethics and dedication to high-quality journalism.

  • Strong organizational and planning skills.

  • Keen instincts in pursuing stories that will resonate with readers.

  • Solid understanding of SEO, social media and other audience growth tools.

  • Experience using audience analytics to guide reporting and publishing decisions.

  • Patience and experience in working with staffers at all skill levels, from interns to veteran reporters.

  • An understanding of police agencies and the court system.

  • A collaborative personality and a track record of working well with newsroom editors and news partners.

  • Experience working with content management systems, databases and other tools.

  • Ability to coach writers and other editors.

  • Resourceful, able to anticipate needs and bring new ideas to the newsroom.  

  • Ability to understand and use readership data to inform our editorial process. 

  • An interest in telling stories using a variety of media, and a quick study in learning new skills and technologies. 

  • Skill and versatility as an editor, including the ability to shape everything we create – breaking news briefs, enterprise take-outs, long-form magazine-style pieces, video, graphics – in a way that best serves and engages the broadest possible audience. 

The following core competencies are required of Observer employees:


  • Goal-oriented. Acts with urgency. Strives for successful outcomes in serving customers/readers/advertisers. 


  • Works harmoniously with colleagues. Shares critical information, works effectively across functional lines, recognizes others for their contributions. Treats people inside and outside the company with dignity and respect. 


  • Identifies what needs to be done and takes appropriate action.  Innovates, creates and looks for solutions that will benefit the business. 

Personal accountability

  • Handles self professionally. Performs work in a timely manner with consistent attention to quality. Follows through and meets all commitments. Manages time and resources effectively (including attendance).

Continuous learning and improvement

  • Seeks out opportunities to improve skill for current responsibilities and future needs. Embraces new technology, systems and assignments. Considers feedback openly and adapts behavior as needed.

Physical Activity Requirements

  • Work is primarily in the field in a wide range of environments and conditions. Work is about 90% in an office environment. Position requires ability to move from one location to another, sitting, standing, bending, talking, hearing, use of near, mid-range and far vision.

  • May need to lift/carry up to 10 pounds of equipment.

  • Uses computer, which may require prolonged keyboarding and using of mouse.

  • Employee may work more than his/her scheduled number of hours and may work non-traditional business hours. 

  • Ground or air travel may be necessary.

  • Position involves regular contact with the public. Must be able to deal with angry or upset people in a professional and effective manner.

  • Occasional breaking news assignments may require working in disaster areas, varying climates and under extreme physical conditions.

  • Employee must have a valid North Carolina or South Carolina driver’s license, good driving record and dependable vehicle and must carry vehicle insurance.

  • Regular and reliable attendance is a necessary element of this job.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature of work required of this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills or competencies. As the needs of our customers change, Observer employees will need to be flexible in assuming new responsibilities.


McClatchy is committed to providing equal employment opportunity (EEO) for all applicants and employees. McClatchy considers all candidates without regard to basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, medical condition, family care status, pregnancy or physical disability (except where physical fitness is a valid occupational qualification), or any other basis protected by state and federal laws.